Aleksandar Tonev, who recently signed for Celtic on a season-long loan from Aston Villa, has hit out at the lack of playing time he enjoyed at the club.
Newly-acquired Celtic winger Aleksandar Tonev appears to still hold some grudges when it comes to his former manager at Aston Villa, Paul Lambert.
The Bulgarian moved to Celtic Park over the summer on a season-long loan deal after failing to break into the Villa first team under the Scottish manager
Signed from Lech Poznan last year, the midfielder made 17 appearances in the top-flight for the Midlands club, though the majority of these came as a substitute and Tonev ultimately failed to settle in at the club.
A Bulgarian international, with 15 caps and three goals to his name, a move to Parkhead offered Tonev a fresh start, though that hasn’t prevented the 24-year-old from taking a shot at his former club and manager.
Speaking to the Sunday Express, in quotes republished by the Royal Sutton Coldfield Observer, Tonev said: "I've got the skills to play for Villa, I just didn't get the chance to show what I'm capable of.
"That’s why I told the manager I wanted to go, that I wanted to play. I can do really well as long as I’m fit, and this is a good chance for me."
The Bulgarian has already made an impact in the Scottish Premiership too, though not necessarily for the right kind of reasons.
According to reports over the weekend, Tonev has been accused of racially abusing Aberdeen full-back Shaleum Logan during the Bhoys’ 2-1 victory over the Dons on Saturday.
The allegations relate to two incidents that took place during the first-half of the Parkhead clash, and have been reported to Celtic manager Ronny Deila, referee Bobby Maden and SPFL delegate John Connolly.
Tonev has subsequently denied the accusations, stating that he is not a racist and that he will willingly cooperate with the investigation.
However, should he be found guilty, then a return to Villa Park could be in the offing sooner than Tonev would have expected.
Does Aleksandr Tonev have any future at Aston Villa?